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Yale AIDS Colloquium Series (YACS) - Brinda Emu

Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University

Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EST)

Yale AIDS Colloquium Series (YACS) - Brinda Emu

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"HIV and the Human Immune System: Complexities and Consequences"

The impact of HIV infection on the human immune system is profound. This talk will focus on two related topics -- First: how does one group of individuals control infection without any antiretroviral therapy? And secondly: what are the clinical and immunologic consequences of HIV infection even with excellent control of viral replication.

In the absence of treatment and uncontrolled viral replication, the vast majority of individuals lose CD4+ T cells over time, rendering their immune system dysfunctional and unable to respond to other infections. In recent years, a small group of individuals, termed "elite controllers", have been studied. Elite controllers are able to control viral replication to very low levels in the absence of antiretroviral therapy, and can maintain this level of control for many years. This talk will discuss what we know about the immune system of this group of individuals, to better understand the optimal immune response to this otherwise devastating viral infection.

The last two decades have resulted in the approval and use of over a dozen effective anti-retroviral medications, capable of suppressing HIV replication to extremely low levels. With these advances, we have seen dramatic reductions in AIDS and AIDS-related mortality. However, the long-reaching immunologic effects of HIV infection remain unknown. Patients on therapy remain at higher risk for cardiovascular, hepatic and renal disease, metabolic complications and certain malignancies. As the HIV population ages, the combined effects of aging and chronic infection may synergistically impact the immune system. In this part of the talk, I will introduce the  evidence for persistent immune dysfunction in individuals who are on optimal anti-retroviral therapy.


Brinda Emu received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and her Medical Degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She did her internal medicine training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and her Infectious Diseases Fellowship at University of California, San Francisco. After fellowship, she remained as faculty at UCSF, with her research focusing on identifying immune correlates of protection in HIV, with a focus on T cell immunology. For the past four years, Dr Emu worked outside of academia and served as a Medical Director of Early Clinical Development at Genentech.  There, she helped develop a program in clinical infectious diseases, with a focus on bringing innovative, scientific approaches to the treatment of unmet needs in infectious diseases.  As of January 2013, Dr Emu joined the faculty at Yale University, where she is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Her laboratory will focus on characterizing the impact of infectious diseases on the aging immune system.


Sponsored by CIRA, the Yale School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, and Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies, the Yale AIDS Colloquium Series is an interdisciplinary academic forum for discussion of HIV/AIDS-related research and policy. CIRA's mission is to support the conduct of interdisciplinary research focused on the prevention of HIV infection and the reduction of negative consequences of HIV disease in vulnerable and underserved populations nationally and abroad.

Have questions about Yale AIDS Colloquium Series (YACS) - Brinda Emu? Contact Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University

When & Where

CIRA, LL15 (Basement Level)
135 College St
New Haven, CT 06510

Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EST)

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Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University

CIRA is supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant No. P30MH062294.
Paul D. Cleary, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

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Yale AIDS Colloquium Series (YACS) - Brinda Emu
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